There’s something I think about every autumn when there are piles of drying plants on most surfaces, jars of roots and seeds, and the dehydrator is running pretty regularly. I’ll show you, but you have to pretend you don’t see the dust.
Many years ago my sister and I set out to begin our business, and a friend who had worked for a fairly well known TX potpourri maker agreed to teach us the basics of potpourri.
Arriving at her home, talk turned to how she’d just moved in recently. There were some rumors about the old woman who’d lived there before, and when they looked at the house there were odd bottles and jars full of roots and plants floating in liquid. Plants hung from the rafters. My sister and I were hanging on her words eager to hear more, but we found it way more interesting than our friend. She dismissed the old woman as “a witch” and didn’t want to talk of the rumors.
Now, I think I might be that old woman. My house is like the inside of a 7 year old’s pocket, except for the live frogs. Beside me at this very moment is a small jar full of lavender buds from some of this year’s crop and a Mason jar of mint tea. Also, the neighbor kids seem a little scared of me.
Beginning with this picture up near the ceiling – a foot long pine cone, a couple gourds, feathers and dried plants, and a twisted piece of vine. But this is nothing.
Downstairs, many of the tinctures are lined up on this shelving that takes up one wall.
Out in the sun room off the kitchen, there are jars of seeds, dried lemons, dried berries, and random herb equipment.
On the counter, a large, dried Solomon’s seal root waits to find out where it will wind up.
One of the cabinets holds the collection of old herb stuff (and other random or dear things).
The table in the kitchen catches the bunches of herbs that come in to be dried. Goldenrod, mint flower spikes, hyssop, jewelweed seeds, holy basil, and white sage dry perfectly on this surface as long as the piles are small.
The kitchen counter is never clear of stuff. Medicine, experiments (that jar of candied kumquat rinds, for instance), and seasonings land here and stay way too long.
The dining room hutch catches slightly different items when she’s lucky. Usually the loose plant matter either stays in the kitchen or goes all the way down to the work room. So here are shells, stones, and pressed botanicals.
This is another shelving unit downstairs. I need one more for the sake of organization. Rows and rows of jars and bottles of all sizes from 3 oz to 1 gallon.
This is only scratching the surface. There isn’t a drawer or shelf without some remnant of nature or some herbal project I’m working on. A bottle cap holding a dozen beans, acorns, feathers, and rocks. a jar of fragrant salve – it all infuses my life.
Sometimes I wonder if someone was looking around my house without knowing me, what they’d think when they saw this wonderful cache of every herb, oil, or preparation I could ever want. They’d probably be looking for my broom.